in 2008, the unemployment rate was 5%, considered good, even though storm clouds were gathering there. the uncertainty about the great recession led to a drop in hires, then layoffs and a pullback in investments. by 2009, unemployment jumped to 10%. right now, it's back down to 8.1%. but researchers at the san francisco fed suggest that unemployment could be as many as two points lower if not for the current uncertainty over the economic storms that could hit america's shore, especially that fiscal cliff. that fiscal cliff is the result of your political leaders playing a very dangerous game. now, speaking of games, something you probably do not know about harvard economist ken rogoff, he is an international grand master in chess, a title he earned as professional chess player in his youth. and last month, ken even played the world's top-rated grand master, magnus carlson, to a draw here in new york.